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8-Day Greece Itinerary: Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, & Athens

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Planning a trip to Greece? Here’s the perfect 8-day Greece itinerary for first-timers. 

From the historical wonders of Athens to the sun-kissed islands of Santorini and Mykonos to the charming streets of Paros, you’ll spend 8 days exploring archaeological wonders and experiencing Greek culture and hospitality. 

With that being said, let’s jump into my 8-day Greece itinerary…

How to Spend 8 Days in Greece

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The Best Time to Visit Greece

Greece is a popular tourist destination which means there tends to be crowds more often than not. 

June through September is the high season with July and August being the hottest temperature wise. If you’re looking to beat the heat a little and avoid the crowds, try visiting in the shoulder season months April, May, and October. 

I personally visited Greece in October, and found the weather to be comfortable except for in Mykonos where it was very warm. I can’t imagine what it’s like in July and August. 

Also, there were still plenty of people around in Santorini and Mykonos. Different cruise ships port on the islands, so you’ll notice the crowds are more significant when they are there and then they die down once the ships leave.

On the other hand, Paros was pretty quiet. In fact, many of the shops and stores didn’t even open until 5:00/5:30 PM. We talked with a shopkeeper and she said, it’s not worth it for them to be open all day in the low season. 

Greece Itinerary Overview

First Stop – Santorini

Second Stop – Paros

Third Stop – Mykonos

Fouth/Final Stop – Athens 

8-Day Greece Itinerary Day 1-3: Santorini

8 days in greece - santorini

Santorini is easily the most popular destination in Greece. Famous for its white-washed and blue-domed buildings, Santorini offers panoramic views of the sea and the caldera. 

There are many things to do in Santorini like taking a sunset catamaran cruise, wandering the iconic streets of Oia, or exploring the ancient ruins of Akrotiri. Santorini also has a variety of beaches including Perissa, a black sand beach. Just note you’ll definitely want to wear water shoes for the beaches in Santorini as they tend to be more pebbly than sand. 

3 days in Santorini will allow you to see the main sites of the island while also getting to sit back and relax on a couple of beaches. 

If you’re planning on renting an ATV or car while in Santorini, you’ll need an international driving permit. You can get one before leaving home through AAA or there are a couple of online options available if you don’t have a AAA office near you or you’re short on time. 

greece itinerary - santorini
8 days in greece - santorini

8-Day Greece Itinerary Day 4 + 5: Paros

Paros, Greece

Paros used to be an off-the-beaten track destination in Greece, but has gained popularity in recent years. 

Located in between Santorini and Mykonos, Paros makes for a great second stop for your 8 days island hopping in Greece. Depending on the vessel you take, Paros is about 1.5 hours from Santorini and 40 minutes from Mykonos. 

I recommend leaving Santorini early on your fourth day in Greece, to make the most of your 2 days in Paros. The island is smaller than Santorini and Mykonos, but there’s still a fair amount of things to do. Wander around Naoussa and Parikia, the main areas on the island, take a boat tour, or take a day trip to the nearby islands of Naxos or Antiparos.

Paros Greece
How to spend 8 days in Greece
sunset in Paros

8-Day Greece Itinerary Day 6 + 7: Mykonos

8-Day Greece Itinerary - mykonos

After spending a couple days in Paros, make your way to Mykonos. 

Mykonos is probably the second most popular destination in Greece behind Santorini. Known for its beach clubs and nightlife, the island has a much different vibe than Santorini or Paros. 

But, even if partying isn’t your thing. There’s plenty of things to do in Mykonos. Visit the iconic windmills, stroll through the beautiful streets of Little Venice, or just relax on one of the pristine beaches.

I spent 2 days in Mykonos, but you could easily spend a third day on the island if you have more time. However, if you’re planning to follow this itinerary to a tee, you’ll want to take a late flight out of Mykonos to head back to Athens. 

8-day Greece itinerary - mykonos
streets of mykonos
8-Day Greece Itinerary iconic windmills in mykonos

8-Day Greece Itinerary Day 8: Athens

one day in athens

To finish up your 8 days in Greece, you’ll spend one day exploring the ancient capital. There are a lot of historical sites to see in Athens. From the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, visiting Athens is like stepping into your middle school textbook. 

Most people will tell you to skip Athens, and spend more time on the islands, but if this is your first time in Greece I think it’s worth spending at least a day exploring the city. 

Read my 24 hours in Athens post for more details and ideas of what to do. 

Thank you for reading my 8 days in Greece itinerary! This was the itinerary I followed my first time visiting, and I cant wait to explore more islands the next time I make it back.

8 day greece itinerary - athens
Athens, Greece
8-Day Greece Itinerary

FAQs

Is 8 Days long enough for Greece? 

If all you have is 8 days, then 8 days is long enough for Greece. As you can see from this itinerary, you can visit 3 islands and Athens in that span of time. With 10 days you could tack on another nearby island, or spend more time in Athens. Regardless, some time in Greece is better than no Greece!

Which is better, Santorini or Mykonos?

I think it depends on the vibe you’re going for. Mykonos is more so known for its nightlife and beach clubs, where Santorini is seen as more romantic and laid back. So, I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, they’re just different. 

Which Greek Island is Best for First Timers?

I’m going to be basic and say Santorini. The views of the caldera and the sunsets are absolutely beautiful. It’s cliche to say but pictures honestly don’t do it justice. The first time you see the island, you’ll understand the hype. 

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first-timers 8 days in greece itinerary
8 days in greece itinerary
8 days in greece

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